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Cover Letter Help

I am finally working on the dreaded cover letter for the job I really, really want....and it sucks! I’m used to applying for government jobs where I just answer a few questions and submit a pre-made resume. But, apparently the Montana government isn’t into that.

I’ve tried looking for help online, but so much of it is either too vague or too specific. So, I have some questions:

  • I found out the name of the hiring manager. Do I address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager”, “Dear Mr. Hiring Manager”(it is a very male name, and I stalked him on LinkedIn, so no mistake waiting to happen there), or “Dear Mr. Manager”?
  • I don’t even know where to start. “I really really want this job, please give it to me” probably isn’t right. But, “I’m applying for XYZ position” seems to be overstating the obvious a little bit. But, so many of the “eye-catching” openings I see in advice just seem annoying.
  • How do I discuss education and job experience without just regurgitating my resume into the cover letter?

I appreciate any help or commiseration you can offer.

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